The awful state of bed linen in millions of homes across Britain has been revealed in a new survey and is enough to give you nightmares...
It sounds too disgusting to be true, but half a million people in Britain only change their bed sheets three times a year, according to a new survey.
The poll of 1000 people by insurance firm Sheilas’ Wheels also found that one in six wait at least a month before washing their sheets.
The bad news is that dirty beds can be infested with 10 million mites, with up to 10% of the weight of an unwashed pillow being made up of bugs and dead skin. Health experts say the lack of cleanliness makes a bed a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses and can cause asthma or make the symptoms worse.
Environmental health expert Dr Lisa Ackerley said: ‘To reduce levels of unwanted organisms and mites, you need to wash your bed linen at least once a fortnight – preferably once a week.’
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey found that under-25s had the dirtiest sheets – with one in 10 admitting to changing them just six times a year. The cleanest were over-55s who wash them three times a month on average.
In terms of location, Londoners were the worst culprits when it comes to unwashed bedding. The capital was closely followed by Brits in the North East, and the South West, also keeping dirty sheets on their bed for more than a month.
Jacky Brown, of Sheilas’ Wheels said: ‘With the cold weather making our beds more irresistible than ever, Brits are currently spending more than 49 hours a week sleeping in. The bed is one of the most used and expensive items in the home – so it’s astonishing that more Brits aren’t keeping it clean.’